Agency’s contract renewed

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Commissioners approve funding for WIC program

Denton County Health Department officials expressed delight Tuesday to have the agency’s WIC contract renewed.

Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the funding to continue the Women, Infants and Children program so those families who qualify can retain access to nutrition education, health checkups and referrals, as well as vouchers for healthy foods and infant formula.

The contract is worth about $1 million.

“That one was very important to me,” Denton County Health Department director Bing Burton said. “That enables us to serve an important population and help them get off to a healthy start.”

The funding is considered a Pass-Through Grant. Denton County is the recipient of certain federal and state grant funds, and various departments within the county administer these programs. Activities are monitored by county staff to ensure compliance with the requirements of the grants.

The contracts are for six-month terms as opposed to the yearlong terms they once were.

“A year or two ago when federal funds came under closer scrutiny, they started funding us for six-month periods instead of a year,” Burton said. “But there hasn’t been any threat that grant was going to go away.”

In addition, the health department received a handful of other grants including one for a local public health service, the Medical Reserve Corps and a public health preparedness grant.

The action taken on those grants were mainly amendments to existing contracts and really did not change any dollar amounts substantially, County Judge Mary Horn said. Like Burton, she said the standout action was the WIC contract.

“The WIC program in Denton County has always been a very popular service to citizens of Denton County,” Horn said. “The need is growing, so it’s good we could get some additional funding for that.”

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is .

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